"So the servants went out into the streets..." Matthew 22:10a
For one week, 450 teen-aged servants lived in Cairo-Durham High School, working, praying, eating and worshipping together. Teens from Johnstown Reformed Church and St. John's Episcopal Church gave up a week of their summer vacation to volunteer and serve at a Reach work camp fixing peoples' homes by building, painting and cleaning for an entire week. Most of the people they helped (we call them our neighbors) desperately needed the help offered. In addition, we have also learned about our own faith journey, and what it means to take our faith into the streets.
We are qualified by God to do the work he has given us to do. The camp director told us, "You are the best God has to offer Cairo, N.Y. He picked you to serve his people."
We are scarred, but our wounds can actually make us stronger and better equipped to do the work.
We need to understand the places we spend our time and money indicate what we are invested in. Do we choose to invest time, energy, emotion and even money in relationship with God? Why or why not?
We are worthy because God himself made us. We were created by the Creator of all things.
We can be transformed, if we are willing, by the knowledge that God loves us so much that he was willing to die for us.
Today we take all this back to the streets of Johnstown as well as the other towns where we live and spend time. What does it look like to wear our faith "out loud" and what are the challenges of taking it to the streets? Come to St. John's on Sunday, Aug. 2 to hear what our teen missionaries have to say at either 8 or 10 a.m. on Youth Service Sunday. They have a lot to teach us.
The Rev. Laurie Garramone is the pastor of St. John's Episcopal Church in Johnstown.